Branding, UX, UI, Product Design
BIPOC millennial tech workers often feel alone throughout their career journeys and have no one to turn to when it comes to career related topics. While there are apps that solve some of these issues, none successfully provide users with all the features they need to progress in their careers specifically in the technology industry.
HUMA integrates and improves upon the most used features of competing products to solve user pain points. Simplifying the process of connecting with mentors and other professionals within the technology industry, providing resources about compensation and protecting them using anonymity.
UX research, UI design, brand identity
By developing a digital solution to allow people of colour access to pay transparency and information about the technology industry as well as easy access to mentorship will help them progress in their careers, not fall victim to pay inequality and will help them better advocate for themselves.
To prove this hypothesis and explore the problem space, initial research focused on better understanding BIPOC experiences navigating their careers and how to better support them.
What products exist to help navigate the technology industry?
What resources are available? How does one make career decisions?
What are users current pain points within their career journey?
How do millenials feel about pay transparency?
People of colour face the greatest pay gap in tech.
Not only is it difficult to break into the technology industry but when minorities are hired, they are making less than their white male counterparts for the same job.
A series of in-depth interviews were conducted with 5 individuals of multiple different races, and seniority levels in the tech industry to further identify pain points, frustrations, needs, and desires.
1. What has been the most difficult part about navigating your professional career?
2. Tell me about any mentorship you have and how you built those relationships?
3. What is your process for determining whether you’re being paid fairly or not?
4. How do you navigate progressing in your career?
Users felt they didn't have a network to go to for career advice and wished they had a mentor.
Users feel that there aren't enough resources available to them to help them progress in their careers
Users felt that finding a mentor was difficult
Competitive analysis was conducted to identify competitor's strengths and weaknesses to inform my digital solution's features and information structure.
The closest competition being BLIND still misses the aspect of finding mentorship and networking events.
After conducting user interviews, all the participants responses were synthesized to identity themes, opportunities, and features that HUMA could focus and improve upon.
An affinity map was created to identify high level themes and group similar insights gained from the user interviews.Affinity Map Details
The interview insights were synthesized into pain points, motivations and behaviours and lastly into themes which guided the digital solution.
A persona was built based on the data collected to help drive decision making and keep the product focused on solving users pain points, frustrations, and goals.
It was evident that that the biggest issue was that young professionals don't often have mentors and want a network of people to go to for career advice.
But how does mentorship and the pay gap relate?
To kick-off the design process, a user flow, experience map and quick sketches helped me get ideas on paper to establish which elements were necessary for each screen. A low fidelity prototype was then created for initial user testing.
The primary user flow is the process of onboarding and getting a curated list of mentors. With the persona in mind, and knowing I had to ask sensitive questions such as race and compensation, I built a task flow that would allow me to get insight into communication issues and how to best ask these sensitive questions.
The experience map is important as it highlights areas where the digital solution can be impactful.
Rough sketches were done to get my initial thoughts on paper and brainstorm new ideas for specific UI elements.UI Inspiration and Moodboard
Using the feedback and insights gained from research, analysis and sketching, a low-fidelity prototype was created. This was used for the first round of user testing.Low-fidelity Screens
A usability study was conducted to determine where improvements could be made and identify new ideas to satisfy user expectations, needs, and desires.
Two rounds of user testing were done, 5 individuals using the first iteration and another 5 individuals using the second iteration.
Based on feedback from 10 peers and mentor feedback I continually iterated my design over the span of 4 weeks.
Inspiration was drawn from numerous applications that use a darker theme with a focus on minimal yet functional simplicity. The UI design reflects the user's desire for a simplistic, intuitive and professional feel.
HUMA makes the process of finding a mentor and a network simple and engaging. It connects people to a social network of fellow technology industry professionals and only suggests people that match the user's preferences and interests.
Watch the prototype walkthrough or walkthrough it yourself.View Prototype
The introduction of the app quickly explains what the application is for and how it will benefit the user.
Users are able to easily fill out the questionnaire along with their preferences. They are also able to click "learn more" to better understand why certain questions are being asked.
After users review their list of potential mentors, they are able to message other users and navigate to the chat screen.
Simplifies the experience of finding a mentor
Suggests personalized mentors specific to the users interests and background
Supports social connection and engagement
Encourages open dialogue about compensation and career related topics
Gives the user flexibility to connect with multiple users in their network
Provides a source of reputable reviews and advice professionals
The purpose of this site is to give users the chance to evaluate HUMA before deciding to download. It is meant to explain benefits and features of HUMA.
Based on the persona, Atina Raya, her goals, interests and other forms of technology used, it was evident that if HUMA expanded to another platform, it should be a desktop web application.
Showcased below, I created a desktop web application, easily accessible to users across platforms.
Our most passionate users would communicate with kindness, trying to be as helpful as possible, give referrals and are open to advice. Huma relies on this type of engagement to create a safe space online for tech professionals.
The application is meant to allow users to talk openly and honestly about the industry without the fear of reprisal, and therefore, I wouldn't want users to try to expose people or conversations to become negative in a sense that users are verbally attacking one another.
In these cases, I think that there might be room to discuss a way to send reports through the application and/or block users to mitigate any negative behaviour.